Cumberland Brewery is looking to expand its patio space temporarily for the summer. Photo by Mike Chouinard

Cumberland Brewery is looking to expand its patio space temporarily for the summer. Photo by Mike Chouinard

Cumberland Brewery looks for temporary patio expansion

Move would allow business to spread customers outside in summer months

Cumberland Brewery is hoping to expand its patio to provide more space for the number of people it can hold according to its liquor licence.

It sent a request for support to council for the Feb. 22 meeting for its application to the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch (LCLB). The brewery had asked to expand back in 2018 to increase its customer load as a means to expand the scope of the business from when it first applied for a liquor licence in 2014.

“We’ve kind of gone through this process since the brewery opened,” said Kaelin Chambers, economic development officer for the Village of Cumberland.

The increase, if approved, will add slightly more than 43 square metres of patio space at the back. The plan is to extend the covered patio to have more space for its current customer load, particularly in the summer months, in order to help maintain social distancing guidelines.

“As the battle with the pandemic continues through another busy summer season, we need to plan ahead and make changes to continue being viable,” business owner and applicant Darren Adam said in correspondence with the village. “In an effort to give more space for folks to safely visit our business, given the distancing protocols, we would like to increase the length of our patio.”

There no plans to change anything major about its current licence beyond adding more space on the patio.

“There’s no plans to change their operating hours or the way they do business,” Chambers told council.

He said the change would not require any variance or development permit. The move is intended to be a temporary measure and last only through the end of October.

“This is more of a summertime thing,” Chambers said.

The request asks to increase the load capacity for the patio area by 16 people, going from 94 to 110. Adam explained Cumberland Brewery’s plan is not to fill the business up to 110 people but to reduce the effort to “manage” occupancy and avoid having to count patrons all the time.

“I believe our track record over the last six years has established that we are a community-minded business who behaves in the best interest of the community we live in,” he added.

The village staff report also notes the number is lower than what is permitted under the current rate — 139 persons overall. Any authorization will cover expanded service areas only and will not expand overall occupancy.

RELATED STORY: Cumberland Brewing Company plans to double its occupancy

In 2018, the business expanded following a move into adjacent space on Dunsmuir Avenue. Members of council said there had been some concern at the time from people about potential noise and other issues because of the additional number of patrons during the evening. Chambers noted that council asked for modified hours at that time.

“Since then, no complaints have been raised,” he said.

The staff recommendation was for council to support the LCLB application for the business, provided it not require or result in an increase to overall occupancy and that it be permitted until Oct. 31 as per the terms of the province’s COVID Temporary Extension Application. Council unanimously supported a motion for the recommendations.

(The story has been edited to correct spelling.)



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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